CivicMic works with Stanislaus County (the “County”) to facilitate community outreach and public engagement opportunities for the County's urban areas and unincorporated communities to determine how and where to invest funding to improve infrastructure. Infrastructure includes the basic facilities, services, and installations that help a society function. Examples of infrastructure include roads, public institutions, phone lines, sewage treatment plants, and power generation. In this post, CivicMic shares information about the County's unincorporated communities and some sample improvement costs.
For over a decade, the County has been working to address the infrastructural needs within the County's unincorporated communities with the goal being to make improvements that would support the annexation of certain communities to incorporated cities. These communities are small independent areas that are located within the city’s sphere of influence but are not completely a part of the city and are currently under the authority of the County. They consist of 41 pocket areas in and around Ceres, Modesto, Riverbank, and Turlock, and 13 communities including Cowan Tract, Crows Landing, Del Rio, Denair, East Oakdale, Grayson, Hickman, Keyes, Knights Ferry, Monterey Park, Salida, Valley Home, and Westley.
In 2019 and 2020, the County analyzed these unincorporated areas to develop cost estimates for public improvements. It was determined that improvements in these areas are expected to cost an estimated $631 million.
In 2021, the County received funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and on March 18, 2021, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors resolved to spend $50 million of these funds toward investing in the infrastructure of these communities. Currently, the County is looking to make investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and storm drainage infrastructure, and broadband.
Importance of Long-Term Planning
Although $50 million will not address all the infrastructural needs within these unincorporated communities, it would be a stepping stone towards greater improvements in the future. In support of this long-term goal, the County is looking to engage each community to develop a list of investment priorities.
Sample Improvement Costs
ARPA funds can be used to fund infrastructural improvements. These improvements can look like curbs, gutters, sidewalks, sewer trunk lines, water lines, and more. Below is a table illustrating what certain potential improvements would cost in 2022. The improvement costs in the table are the total amount of each improvement in each community. To view what area is being referred to in the table, please click on this link and zoom into the area on the web map.
Storm Collection: This is a system designed to carry rainfall runoff and other drainages.
Sanitary Sewer: This is a system of underground pipes that carries sewage from bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, and other plumbing components to a wastewater treatment plant where it is filtered, treated, and discharged.
Drainage Manholes: These are underground spaces used by utility personnel as a point of access to the drainage system.
Water Lines: These are pipes that deliver clean water from private wells or municipal suppliers to and throughout a home or building.
Curb & Gutter: A curb and gutter are usually constructed together. A curb is a short wall used to hold pavement from the sides and act as a barrier between the road and the street. A gutter is a flat concrete slab that drains water.
Sidewalks: These are paved walkways on the side of the road.
Streetlights: There are lights that illuminate the roads. They are typically mounted on a tall pole.
Right-of-Way (ROW): This is a type of property granted or reserved for transportation purposes. This can be for a highway, public footpath, rail transport, canal, as well as electrical transmission lines, oil, and gas pipelines
Signs & Striping: These are road signs, like a "stop" sign, and pavement markings on the street.
Asphalt Overlay (AC Overlay): This is a layer of new asphalt applied over the existing base layer of asphalt on a driveway, parking lot, or road. It can be used to fill cracks, uneven pavement surfaces, and potholes.
Sewer Manholes: An underground space used to provide access to a sewer system.
Please note that Pocket Areas 13, 26, and 32 are not shown on our web map and the table below because these areas have been annexed to the city.
Urban Area Improvement Costs
County Community Improvement Costs
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